On Saturday, 7 July, the Procurators of the Society of Jesus concluded the eight days of Spiritual Exercises in readiness for the Congregation of Procurators taking place this week in Nairobi. A total of 84 Procurators are attending the Congregation, from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the United States. Fr Adrian Porter SJ from the Jesuit Institute in Oxford is representing the British Province. A Congregation of Procurators is called into session by Father General every four years after the end of a General Congregation. The 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) took place between January and March 2008. Delegates are elected by their provinces to represent them at the Congregation, where an important task will be for the Procurators to discuss the overall state of the Society, especially in its more universal dimension. The discussion could clarify if a General Congregation is warranted. Another purpose of the Congregation of Procurators is to decide whether a General Congregation should be called. While the Procurators have no power to legislate, they can suspend decrees issued by previous General Congregations if the members think it necessary. This is the first time a Congregation of Procurators has taken place outside Europe. They have been held regularly since 1568, in response to the wishes of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, and his early successors that Jesuits should gather at least once every three years from each province to discuss the state of the Society. Previous Congregations of Procurators have taken place in Rome, Florence and in Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius.
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